Sourced from

Hedgehog (inspired by the origami of J. Richardson)

Artist Name(s) Alex Pentek
Artwork title Hedgehog (inspired by the origami of J. Richardson)
Context/Background Hedgehog (inspired by the origami of J. Richardson) (2010), designed by Alex Pentek, was a public artwork commissioned under the Per Cent for Art scheme that arose out of the construction of the N11 Gorey - Arklow Link Road, completed in September 2007. Following a two-stage open competition, Hedgehog (inspired by the origami of J. Richardson), was shortlisted as one of five artists' proposals which were made available for public viewing at Wexford County Council offices in Gorey. Following this public consultation the winning idea was chosen by a selection panel.

Inspired by the original origami-hedgehog created by John Richardson, this large scale work was completed and installed in May 2010. After the creation of a 3D CAD model, the work was plasma-cut from a series of 6mm Corten steel sheets, and fabricated using MIG welds over a galvanized piping sub-frame. Suggesting a single-folded form, in reality the work comprises a series of surfaces that allow the run-off of rainwater. The nearly 10 ton work measures 6x10x4m, and is anchor-bolted to a concrete base that was cast in-situ on the cut-away embankment. 

Artistic concept:

My idea for this commission responds to the location, where the motorway cuts through a wooded area. By depicting a giant ten-ton hedgehog - positioned as if it is perhaps about to cross the road - the work playfully turns the table on passing motorists and asks them to consider their speed and also the surrounding natural wildlife. ”


Alex Pentek was born in Bantry, Co. Cork in 1973. He graduated from Crawford College of Art and Design as Cork Arts Society Student of the Year in 1996.  Since then he has created over 20 large-scale, site-specific, permanent public artworks in Ireland and Canada. His long-standing interest in origami and music have informed his sculptural work, which he creates for public and private commissions in his studio at Rathpeacon in Co. Cork, and in numerous artists’ residencies.  He also has extensive experience in teaching and facilitating workshops.

While Pentek mainly focuses on creating large-scale permanent sculptures, he also displays work in galleries, which allows him to explore temporary mediums such as paper and sound performance. His work has featured in solo exhibitions and group shows including Gravity, at the Crawford Municipal Gallery, Cork, Ireland in 2011 and representing Ireland in 'An Other Place', Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia in 2007. 

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Sinead Redmond, Arts Officer, Wexford Co. Council
Commissioning process Two-stage open competition
Project commission dates January 1, 2009 - May 30, 2010
Partners The National Roads Authority
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Wexford County Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 70000 - 150000 euro
Project commission start date 01/01/2009
Project commission end date 30/05/2010
Location N11 Gorey - Arklow link road
County Wexford
Content contributor(s) Web Editor
Associated professionals / Specialists involved
  • Sinead Redmond, Arts Officer, Wexford Co. Council.
  • Seamus Mullherin, ARUP Consulting Engineers, Cork – Consultant Engineer
  • Stephen Whelan, ARUP Consulting Engineers – 3D CAD modelling 
  • Crowley Engineering – Fabrication, transport, delivery and installation. 
  • Descon Engineering Ltd. – Project Contractor (Foundations)